tv Dateline MSNBC April 15, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
things. >> thank you for joining me. appreciate it. that wraps it up for me this hour. here again on msnbc. stay with us for updates and breaking news as it happens. "all in" with chris hayes is up now. tonight on "all in." >> with her, you'll end up in world war iii. she doesn't know what she's doing. >> with heightened tensions from syria to north korea, a foreign policy novice -- >> what i do is i authorize my military. >> -- surrounded by generals and fans. >> well, one of my favorite things is watching bombs drop on bad guys. >> tonight i'm joined by the congresswoman calling to curtail the president's use of force. then the russia probe. >> i don't remember. we'll see what comes out in this fisa transcript. >> warnings with trump campaign linked to russia that came from u.s. allies in 2015. plus, a show of force. [ audience chanting "shame on you" ]
>> the resistance prepped for a nationwide march tomorrow to reject this idea. >> the only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters. and the president's brand-new appointment. >> i've set up a special offer just for our viewers. >> "all in" starts now. good evening from new york. i'm joy reid in for chris hayes. it is now 8:30 on saturday morning in north korea. the hermit kingdom created its very own time zone a couple of years ago. 12 1/2 hours ahead of east coast time. this morning in north korea, the reclusive regime is preparing for what it calls, quote, a big and important event to mark the birthday of its founder, the grandfather of current leader kim jong-un. it's an annual chance for the young dictator to flex his military muscle, and this year satellite images suggest he may be preparing for north korea's sixth nuclear test.
back in november, not long after the election, "the wall street journal" reported that the obama administration had warned the president elect about the threat from north korea, which it considered to be the number one national security priority. that threat has been front of mind lately for donald trump. he discussed north korea in meetings last week with the president of china. he's sending his vice president to south korea this weekend, and he's been turning to his favorite platform, where else but twitter, to rattle his saber against the north korean regime. quote, north korea is looking for trouble. if china decides to help, that would be great. if not, we will solve the problem without them. usa. ahead of the big event in north korea, the u.s. rerouted an aircraft carrier strike group to the korean peninsula, a move that trump described this way in an interview earlier this week. >> we are sending an armada, very powerful. we have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than
the aircraft carrier. that i can tell you. and we have the best military people on earth. and i will say this. he is doing the wrong thing. >> so all that saber rattling has not gone unnoticed in north korea. the nation's vice foreign minister told the associated press his government views the trump administration as, quote, more vicious and more aggressive than that of his predecessor, saying the president's tweets add fuel to a, quote, vicious cycle of tensions on the korean peninsula. according to the vice minister, pyongyang is ready to go to war if that's what trump wants. all of this comes as donald trump has been flexing his own military muscle elsewhere in the world, launching missile strikes last week against the forces syrian dictator bashar al assad as punishment for a chemical weapons attack against syrian rebels. just yesterday the u.s. for the first time dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in
combat, striking an isis complex in afghanistan. and if the president was watching his favorite tv show this morning, he would have seen a stirring tribute to that operation. ♪ ♪ it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you ♪ ♪ brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue ♪ >> that's what happens when a 21-thousand pound bomb explodes in the afghanistan-pakistan region. welcome to the final hour of the week on "fox & friends." guess who's here? do you recognize him? >> geraldo rivera. that video is black and white. >> good morning. >> that is what freedom looks like. that's the red, white and blue. >> one of my favorite things in the 16 years i've been here at fox news is watching bombs drop on bad guys. >> one of his favorite things. fox and friends was not alone in effusively praising the trump administration's recent military moves. pundits and lawmakers alike have
cheered on the chief. ironically, he was the one who campaigned as more of a dove during the general election, portraying hillary clinton as the dangerous interventionist. >> with her, you'll end up in world war iii. she doesn't know what she's doing. so you're not fighting syria anymore. you're fighting syria, russia, and iran. what we should do is focus on isis. we should not be focusing on syria. with her plan, you'll end up in world war iii with syria. you're going to end up in world war iii over syria if we listen to hillary clinton. >> so now that trump has reversed himself and embraced his inner neocon, launching strikes in yemen and syria, he's finally getting the applause he craves, even from democratic lawmakers. both democratic leaders in congress, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi came out in support of the missile strikes in syria. only five democratic senators publicly opposed them. that's five out of a caucus of 48. but those five appear to be much more in step with their
constituents around the country. among democrats, just 33% approved of the military action against syria in a new gallup poll compared to 61% who disapproved. i'm joined now by one of the democratic lawmakers who opposed the syria strikes, congresswoman barbara lee, democrat from california, who has also introduced a bill to repeal the original authorization for use of military force or aumf that was passed in the wake of 9/11. i'm going to play a speech that you gave back on september 14th, 2001, opposing the aumf in the first place. take a listen. >> some of us must say, let's step back for a moment. let's just pause just for a minute and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control.
now, i have agonized over this vote, but i came to grips with it today, and i came to grips with opposing this resolution. during the very painful yet very beautiful memorial service, as a member of the clergy so eloquently said, as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore. >> so congresswoman, that was of course three days after 9/11, back in 2001. you were not able to get anyone to go along with you in opposing the authorization to use military force at that time in afghanistan. this time around, so many years later, is there more support for the idea of withdrawing that aumf? >> thank you very much, joy. let me just say that was a 60-word resolution that gave any president the authority and a blank check to use force really in perpetuity. i asked the congressional research service to present to us a declassified report as to how many times it has been used
and for what. it has been used over 37 times in 14 countries for many, many actions non-related to 9/11. so for the last seven or eight years, i have been trying to repeal this. each time that a defense authorization or appropriation bill comes up, i provide an amendment, which of course doesn't pass, but we're up to maybe 140 or 150 votes, and i'm going to continue to do this until we get to 218 because minimally, we should come back to congress. we should repeal this resolution, have a debate and a vote on a new authorization for these war footings which we are in a variety now of wars that congress has not yet authorized. >> congresswoman, it's interesting because during the campaign, you had both people on the left, the sort of bernie sanders left, as well as people who supported donald trump who felt that it was hillary clinton was the risk of being, you know, a war president, that she was the hawkish one and that somehow donald trump would be less likely to get us into a war.
so with the public that anxious, both on the left and on the right about the idea of war, why do you suppose that it's so reflexive among even your democratic colleagues to support any kind of a military strike. it just gets applause across the board in the halls of congress. >> well, of course the threats are real, and we have not had a debate, joy. we have not really looked at what a comprehensive strategy is, what it means, what it entails. we do not know what the military options entail. military option's always there if there's in fact a threat. we haven't even had a debate. quite naturally, members of congress are really feeling their way through in many respects. so i have asked several times now with some of my colleagues, speaker ryan, to bring us back out of recess so that we can have a debate actually and a vote because this blank check that they're using, the 2001 authorization sets the stage for
perpetual war, joy, and that is very dangerous. >> it's sort of ironic that we're now in this sort of terrifying posture with north korea, which was the first undeclared war and the last time the united states declared war was obviously world war ii. do you worry we will wind up at war again without the congress weighing in and actually making a declaration? >> absolutely. i worry. it's very dangerous, and in fact, we need to be in washington, d.c. right now debating not only an authorization for syria but an authorization if, in fact, the president decides to use force, what that means in terms of north korea. these are perilous times, and leaders are provoking each other. and i think that now is the time once again as i said in 2001 to step back. members of congress are elected to do the hard work. >> right. >> to make hard decisions, and we should be there debating this
and making decisions so that we can give the president the authority or not to move forward. >> yep. congresswoman barbara lee, a lonely voice out there sometimes, but we really always appreciate that voice. thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you. glad to be with you. >> let's bring in national security analyst everybody lynn far cass and matt welch. it is sort of ironic that we are back in this posture of this sort of pre-war posture with north korea. why do you suppose the congress has completely, since the korean war, ceded this authority to wage war? >> i think, joy, first of all we have to distinguish between all of these situations because i heard the congresswoman talk about and you also in the intro about afghanistan, north korea, about syria. if i could just so the viewers understand a little bit of the difference -- >> sure. >> in syria, it was a punitive strike. it was basically telling bashar al assad, the leader of syria, and the world, anyone looking, that you cannot use chemical
weapons against your people. and i know that he used chlorine bombs against his people, and that's bad. but sarin gas is a whole nother level of horrible. so i think it was important. i supported that strike because it was important just as a punitive strike, not as the start of any kind of ongoing or new military campaign, although of course we have almost 1,000 people, troops in syria right now. in afghanistan, we have an ongoing war. all he did was use a different kind of bomb. i mean really i think it's a little overhyped. on north korea, i'm very concerned because north korea, the leader is not irrational. what he wants is to stay in power. he wants to deter us, and the best form of deterrence -- he's seen. he watched what happened to saddam hussein. he watched what happened in libya. he believes he needs to hold on to his nuclear weapons in order to keep the united states and the international community from engineering a regime change and getting him out of power. >> yeah. you might be the first person i heard say that the leader of north korea is not irrational. >> i haven't seen any evidence. maybe our intelligence community knows something i don't know, but i highly doubt he's completely irrational.
let me play for you guys leon panetta who was talking with andrea mitchell. he was talking about the trump posture on north korea and his concerns about it. take a listen. >> obviously the words from the administration are creating even higher volume in terms of the provocations that are going on. i think we've got to be careful here. you know, we shouldn't engage in any precipitous action. there's a reason no u.s. president in recent history has pulled the trigger on north korea. >> and, matt, we're only 85 days into the trump administration, and there's already -- i think for a lot of people, a dread that we are racing toward military action both in syria and, to evelyn's point, that was a specific strike for a specific reason, but also with north korea. >> we've seen in the last week a clear strategic pivot on the trump administration of america is going to act more unpredictably and also in a more
interventionist way. so we're going to lob tomahawk missiles while we're talking with the chinese president in mar-a-lago. we're going to use weapons that we haven't used in afghanistan. there's actually talk with a renewed surge in afghanistan. my, god, how many surges will that one country get? and we've seen increased activity in yemen and elsewhere. all of these things are happening and the trump administration clearly thinks this is going to help. they are wrong footing vladimir putin right now. russia doesn't know what to think. the question is how much of a rational actor is our friends in our pyongyang. i think you have to think about it like this. they have been preparing for this moment propaganda wise and militarily for the last 60 years. they have been preparing for the u.s. to come there, and they have 15, 20, 25 nuclear weapons, and they want to, in an end game scenario -- and there's a reason why kim jong-un is the supreme commander there now as opposed to some of his brothers, some of whom are now dead. it's because he went more crazy. he said if push comes to shove, i will use these weapons if we
are going to lose a war here. so if we push against that and we rattle the sabers, we have two irresistible force. donald trump said we will solve the problem. today, north korea said we will test nukes when we want to. those two things can't exist at the same time. >> you have the administration flip-flopping. you have to wonder if the flip-flop even on china being a currency manipulator or not is to get backup, to say we need to prepare the region. it all feels like it's moving only in one direction, and that direction is toward hostilities. >> that's the problem, joy, because i actually see a positive step in the meeting with xi, you know, where they have the summit. it sounds like donald trump and president xi, president trump and president xi agreed they needed to do more on north korea. and president trump seems pretty optimistic that china is going to deliver something. to my mind, the pressure should be coming from china.
it should be economic and from the international community. but the military pressure does make me nervous because there you run into a huge danger of miscalculation. we've got over 28,000 troops in south korea. of course millions of south koreans are sitting there, sitting ducks in you will. >> and the vice president is in south korea as well. lastly, matt, where is congress in all this? i feel like this debate is what they should be having right now. >> sadly you only have barbara lee and some members of the freedom caucus. there's 100 republicans who challenged obama on libya, and rightfully so. obama flipped his nose at that congress when it came to the libya intervention. they protested then. they should be protesting now, but only a handful are so far. >> the polls show democrats and republicans have completely opposite views of what should be done depending on who the president is. scary times. evelyn and matt, thank you both for joining me. up next, some democrats are asking the fbi to suspend jared kushner's security clearance. and the u.s. ally that reportedly warned of contacts between russia and the trump campaign more than a year ago. the details after this two-minute break. [ engine revs ]
this week, several house democrats called for donald trump's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner to lose his top secret security clearance on the grounds that he failed to disclose contacts with foreign governments as required when he filled out the security clearance questionnaire. including a december meeting with the russian ambassador to the united states and one with the head of a russian state owned bank that's the target of u.s. sanctions. kushner's lawyer called the omissions an error. lying about discussions with the russian ambassador is, of course, what cost former national security adviser michael flynn his job. meanwhile, the guardian reports that british spies were the first to spot trump team leaks to russia in late 2015 and that they alerted u.s. officials. the guardian also reports that leading up to last summer, germany, estonia, poland, australia, denmark, and france
all may have contributed intelligence about contacts between trump's inner circle and russia. and buried at the bottom of a piece in the guardian is this quote, which has received a lot of attention. one source telling the guardian that the official investigation was making progress. quote, they now have specifics, concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion, unquote. this is between people in the trump campaign and agents of russian influence relating to the use of hacked material. now, we don't know what that evidence is, but this week it was revealed that the justice department obtained a fisa warrant to wiretap former trump campaign foreign adviser carter page based on evidence that he was acting as a russian agent. page still maintains he had minimal and only incidental contact with russians.
>> there's always, for example, like with ambassador kislyak, i may have said hello to a few people at times, but nothing -- certainly never any negotiations. >> no discussion of sanctions, lifting sanctions, easing sanctions? >> never. >> page was equally cagey a month and a half ago when our very own chris hayes finally got him to make this admission. >> did you meet sergey kislyak in cleveland? did you talk to him? >> i'm not going to deny that i talked with him. >> so you did talk to him? >> i will say that i never met him anywhere outside of cleveland. >> the probe of carter page's ties with the kremlin was reported back in september 2016 by yahoo! news chief investigative correspondent michael isikoff. michael, carter page is one strange individual. his interviews are sort of a meandering kind of morass of words where he doesn't really say a whole lot. have you been able to determine whether or not he had definitive contact with the same russian entities that were hacking the u.s. election? >> well, look, he's given conflicting answers to multiple people now. he reverses himself sometimes in
the same interview. he gave an interview to george stephanopoulos on "good morning america" this week in which pressed on whether he had discussions about sanctions during this trip to moscow in july, when he was still a campaign adviser to the trump campaign and was in moscow, he said, well, he couldn't say definitively one way or the other whether the issue had come up or not. so i think that raised, you know, just more eyebrows and questions about carter page. >> yep. >> look, as you point out, this has been on the table since last september when i first reported that there was a u.s. intelligence investigation into his communications with russians. and, you know, one of the really bothersome things here is while there's been a lot of reporting around this, there was reporting this week by "the washington post" about the fisa warrant that was obtained as part of that investigation, we still have not gotten answers to the
most important questions on the entire russia stuff. and i got to say, you know, we are looking to the congressional intelligence committees. we all know the problems the house committee has had. the senate has been going at a snail's pace. no subpoena has been issued to carter page or any of the other figures that have played into this. no fact witnesses have been called to testify. there are no hearings on the books at the moment. so, you know, for people who want answers to a lot of these really important questions, we're not getting them, and it's not clear we're on a pace to get them. >> yeah, and that's a very good question. the other questions, i think,
are how these people seem to wind up on the trump campaign, apparently completely unvetted. we found out just today that carter page had a job with the you're asia group that he lost because he had very clear ideologically strongly pro-kremlin leanings. that's according to ian bremer, the president of that group. you even have somebody like mike pompeo, who actually came to the administration as cia director through devin nunes, who now comes out and says that wikileaks is essentially a foreign actor. but during the campaign, he was tweeting out wikileaks. he was actually tweeting out, hey, need further proof the fix was in from president obama. did no one vet any of these people before they wound up either in the trump campaign or the administration? did no one vet mike flynn? >> the short answer is no. i mean whatever vetting took place would have been, you know, exceedingly superficial, and no tough questions were being asked about any of this at the time. and, look, that is disturbing about the way the trump campaign conducted business, but it doesn't get to the core
questions of collusion or collaboration. you know, i got to say that quote you read in the guardian is, you know -- does get one's attention. but who are they talking about? >> right. >> who was talking to whom? you know, all these stories that we've all been writing and reading and talking about, you know, about unnamed officials saying that unnamed people in the trump campaign were talking to unnamed people in the russian government about what? what was the nature? i mean there is so much we don't know here. >> yeah. >> and it is, i think -- i can't stress too strongly enough that we're not on a pace to be getting those answers. >> yeah. maybe the fbi ought to step it up a little bit because we definitely -- we know a lot of names and we know the same names we've known since last year, and
we don't know a lot of information. michael isikoff, thank you so much. still ahead, almost three months into the trump era, and the angry town halls show no signs of letting up. but are trump voters sticking by their choice? we'll talk the resistance, trump's base, and what if anything will ever bring them into agreement. coming up. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. ♪"my friends know me so well. they can tell what i'm thinking, just by looking in my eyes. but what they didn't know was that i had dry, itchy eyes. i used artificial tears from the moment i woke up... ...to the moment i went to bed. so i finally decided to show my eyes some love,... ...some eyelove. eyelove means having a chat with your eye doctor about your dry eyes because if you're using artificial tears often and still have symptoms, it could be chronic dry eye. it's all about eyelove, my friends.
whether it's connecting one of or bringing wifi to 65,000 fans. campuses. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. congress is in recess right now, which means that gop lawmakers are once again facing angry constituents at town halls, like this one today in oregon for representative greg walden. but perhaps no one has taken more heat this week than arizona republican senator jeff flake.
>> i'm not a paid professional organizer. i don't think anybody else in this room is. >> i don't think anybody is here because they're paid. people are here because they're concerned. and i'm glad you're here. >> well, the majority of constituents that i speak with support a single payer system. my question is will you represent the people of arizona and support single payer, or are you going to continue to represent the health insurance industry? [ cheers and applause ] >> i will continue to support, as much as i can, our free market system of health care. [ audience booing ] >> i'm not in favor of single payer. >> neil gorsuch was the first supreme court justice ever to be filibustered. if neil gorsuch was the first to be filibustered, what happened to merrick garland's vote? [ cheers and applause ] >> i think merrick garland was a great man and a good judge. but what happened in the senate
last year, you may not have liked it, but it was not without precedent. in fact -- [ audience booing ] [ audience chanting "shame on you" ] >> i apologize. my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. but as i stand here and look at you, it looks like you're smiling an awful lot. and i hope that that smile -- i hope behind that smile, that you're doing some serious soul searching listening to these people here tonight. >> as a fiscal conservative, what is your position on all the weekend trips the president makes down to mar-a-lago? >> with regard to the presidents and what they do on the weekend, i'm not going to criticize -- >> you work for us! you work for us! you work for us! >> wow. if you thought that was something, just wait till tomorrow when there will be marches in more than 100 cities on tax day to call on president
donald trump to finally release his tax returns. that story coming up. do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before. you got next? chase. helping you master what's now and what's next. la quinta presents, how to win at business. step one: ask the presenter to "go back a slide." well played. you just tossed a mind grenade into into your colleagues' dulled senses. look at them, "what did i miss?"
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we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. they say i have the most loyal people. did you ever see that? where i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody, and i wouldn't lose any voters, okay? it's like incredible. >> donald trump has flip-flopped on so many issues since becoming president, he's already broken so many promises that you would think at least some of his supporters would, you know, care. and some do.
one trump support told politico this week, we expect him to keep his word and right now he's not keeping his word. some trump voters are angry over his decision to bomb syria despite long calling such interventionist foreign policy a mistake. and they're also frustrated by the apparent marginalization of breitbart's steve bannon, who has reportedly lost influence in the white house. the founder changed her header image to this. mr. president, i stand with steve bannon. so that's happening. but the reality is despite his many broken promises, most trump supporters remain squarely on the trump train. this is trump's approval rating over the past month. while there's some variation, his ratings are in essentially the same place they were a month ago, with 40% approval and 55% disapproval. "the new york times" reports that many trump voters are unfazed by his reversals, citing undented confidence that they have in trump as a get things done leader and deal maker.
msnbc contributor jeremy peters joins me now. i read your piece. it was fascinating. the faith. i don't know if it's a quasi-religious faith that a lot of voters have even if he changes position. does that mean they didn't have strongly held positions themselves and just wanted him to be president? is that how i should read that? >> i think, joy, that it's they didn't mind that he didn't have strongly held positions himself. they voted for an attitude, not an ideology. they also, i think, like any voter, don't like to be told or really don't like to come to the realization that maybe they made the wrong decision. and should donald trump keep disappointing them, they will come to that realization. but that's one of the hardest things in politics is to realize
that as a voter, you've been wrong. that point may come for donald trump. it's probably not going to come before the 100-day mark in his administration for a lot of these voters. but i do think there's a strain that's beginning to develop around some of the more populist themes that he promised to pursue that he is backing off of now. i wouldn't quite put syria which you mentioned in that category. i think the strike in syria, the strike in afghanistan, we're not putting troops on the ground, right? i think a red line, so to speak, would be if he decided to put troops on the ground. so that probably isn't one that's going to, you know, faze these voters all that much. but if he starts heeding the advice of the more moderately inclined voices in his administration who seem to be getting influence over the conservative nationalists like steve bannon, he could have trouble. >> there are a lot of republican strategists who say you can't win voters over by telling them they're suckers. nobody wants to admit they were
suckered so that's not a compelling argument. what is the line? what would you trade for a wall and deportations? your own health care? is it the appointment of, you know, dozens of people from goldman sachs? did you detect any line in what they're personally receiving that trump voters would say, that's a bridge too far? even for a wall i don't want that. >> that's a great question. first of all, i think from the conservative perspective, joy, a lot of them feel like this has been a pretty good couple of weeks, right? you have the confirmation of neil gorsuch to the supreme court, which was a huge factor in the election that i think got overlooked in a lot of the coverage. the supreme court as far as, especially the social conservatives were concerned, was a -- if not the determining factor in their vote, he signed this planned parenthood defunding legislation yesterday. you know, the list goes on of the conservative things. just look at his cabinet and the people he's appointed who are deeply conservative from betsy
devos to scott pruitt. they still feel like they're getting what they voted for. where i think that patience runs out is if they don't feel, as donald trump told them he would, that america is being made great again. that's a pocketbook issue. the two most determinative factors in a president's popularity are peace and prosperity. and if people don't feel in their bottom line like they have a better life, stronger income, more job security, and that the country is better off in terms of global affairs, then they're going to lose support for the president. >> democrats may want to think about adopting the ronald reagan question, are you better off now than you were four years ago in 2020 because that might be what they need to you. thank you for joining me. still to come, about those tax returns. while the trump administration skirts the issue, thousands are planning to take to the streets tomorrow and demand that the president release his returns. plus a dodgy new trump administration hire you have to see to believe. that's tonight's thing 1, thing 2 starting next.
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thing 1 tonight. there hasn't been a military draft since 1973. but almost every american man still has to sign up for the selective service system when he turns 18 just in case the agency has to furnish manpower for the defense department during a national emergency. the agency may be small, but its responsibility is huge. it manages the draft, which is why the director of the selective service system is personally appointed by the president. since 1941, that position has always been held by someone who actually served in the military -- until today. donald trump's choice for selective service director doesn't have any record of military service, but he does have an infomercial that you can see on the internet. >> i've set up a special offer just for our viewers today. they'll receive a free subscription to my advertising and marketing tips newsletter. >> that is fantastic in itself. >> yeah, absolutely. no charge for that. >> i love that.
his dynamic presentation will help to energize and motivate your sales force, preparing them for the most productive year of their career. and now please welcome don benton. >> i've set up a special offer just for our viewers today. they'll receive a free subscription to my advertising and marketing tips newsletter. >> and that is fantastic in itself. >> absolutely. no charge for that. >> i love that. that's terrific. >> meet don benton, the author of "marketing magic, innovative tips on marketing, media, and public relations from some of america's cutting edge leaders." and as of yesterday, the director of the selective service system. that's right. donald trump has tapped a salesman to run the military draft, a man with a long record of controversies but no record of military service. for 20 years, don benton served as a state senator in washington
state while still running his marketing and consulting company, which came in handy in 2012 when benton's campaign paid his corporation $99,530 to help in his re-election. also during that campaign benton threatened to sue his opponent for a million dollars. the next year he said a fellow senator was acting like a trashy, trampy mouthed little girl. and in 2013, amid charges of political cronyism, he was appointed as the environmental services director of county clark. three years later after the position was dissolved, he sued the county for $2 million. but by then, he had a new job, running the trump campaign in washington state. he even met the future president, sharing lunch on board the trump plane. i had a filet-o-fish and he had a big mac, benton said. must have been a heck of a lunch because even though trump would lose washington state by nearly 16 points, he took don benton to d.c. with him. first trump put him in the epa. but then he offered unsolicited advice so often that after just four weeks on the job, epa chief
pruitt shut him out of many staff meetings according to two senior administration officials who talked to "the washington post." so trump found don benton a new job, putting him in charge of administering the military draft if it's ever needed. he was quietly sworn in yesterday despite what "the seattle times" called his almost perfect track record of failure and interpersonal conflict often resulting in legal or disciplinary action at every public position he's held. as far as my taxes are for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...w love. ensure. always be you. thithis is the new new york.e? think again. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment.
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as far as my taxes are concerned, the only one that cares is the press, i will tell you. >> you know the only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters. i don't think they care at all. i think you care. >> he's not going to release his tax returns. we litigated this all through the election. people didn't care. they voted for him.
>> when the president puts together his tax return this year, will he release it publicly? >> well, st. patrick's day is tomorrow. that's what i'm more focused on. >> donald trump and his administration have been adamant that nobody cares about his tax returns except for the press. tomorrow, tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in over 100 cities nationwide to call on the president to release his tax returns, and i don't think they're all just members of the nosy media. the plans for tax day marches right after the break. ♪"all you need is love" plays my friends know me so well. they can tell what i'm thinking, just by looking in my eyes. they can tell when i'm really excited and thrilled. and they know when i'm not so excited and thrilled.
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demand that washington stop working for the lobbyists and billionaires and start working for the american people. people will be marching to tell donald trump they want to know who he really is working for and for congress to force donald trump to release his taxes. donald, the time for hiding is over. >> as tax day approaches and as the president talks tax reform, tens of thousands of people are expected to march tomorrow calling for donald trump to release his tax returns. during the campaign, trump held fast to the notion that he couldn't release them because he was under audit. the trump team narrative began to shift when adviser kellyanne conway said the real reason is no one cares. joining me now is the co-founder of the tax march and former
writer of the colbert report. and a democrat from maryland. thank you both for being here. why doesn't congress just make donald trump release his tax return? why are you making these guys go through all of this making frank and his friends go through all of this when congress can just subpoena his tax returns, right? >> you have every democrat in congress calling for it. the problem is that none of the republicans are with us on it. they do say in the town meetings that trump should release his tax returns, but they say that as kind of a moral postulate, but they're not willing to vote for it. and there are votes where the republicans have abandoned us on it. we're saying there are no kings in america. we were conceived in tax protests against royalty and against the idea there are kings who can collect taxes but not pay any and not disclose their own. it's time to get back to the old-fashioned american tradition
of tax protests. tens of thousands of people are going to do it tomorrow morning. >> frank, your tweet is one of the things that sparked this movement. you tweeted a couple months ago that trump claims no one cares about his taxes. the next mass protest should be on tax day and show him wrong. polls do show that 74% of people say trump should release his tax returns. even most republicans say he should do it. but why would donald trump care about that? he won despite the fact people feel this way. why should he care? >> his approval ratings at a historic low. and clearly he's not making good decisions that the majority of people can support. i think he should also care because clearly people do care about this. to me it's interesting that he's willing to let hundreds of thousands of people march in almost 200 cities across the country, and he could have ended all of that a month ago, he could end it today if he releases his tax returns. the fact he's got something in there that's so damaging,
that he'd rather have a massive nationwide protest, really makes you wonder what could be in there. >> that is the question, congressman. what could be in there that would make devin nunes turn on donald trump? it's not as if he's going to lose a single republican no matter what's in there, right? >> there are special forms that go along with the 1040 where he will have to reveal, assuming he follows the law, all of his business partners. we'll find out exactly if he has relationships with foreign governments, kings, corporations, banks, everything that's forbidden in the emoluments clause. that's one thing that's going to come out. we're also going to see to what extent he's been gaming the system as he bragged about during the campaign. we're about to start debate tax policy and we have to know all the boobytraps and loopholes he wants to put in the tax code literally to benefit his family, his corporation, and his friends. we know they're calling for
abolition of the estate tax, which i'm sure ivanka and barron will be delighted to hear about. we need to find out where exactly all his chips lie. >> frank, doesn't that only matter if there is somebody willing to do something about it? one of the things that's happened with donald trump running for president is we've learned what are laws and what are just norms. since he doesn't follow a lot of the norms, a lot of people assumed were a rule and a law are just the norm and he's not following them. so what if there was some garish emoluments clause violation? do you have any faith that anybody in congress other than the democrats, would even do anything about it? >> i think they will when they see the people showing up at the town halls saying we want you to look into this. the more people who show up tomorrow and go to these protests, the stronger the pressure is going to be on all of these congressmen. the democrats support this. the republicans are the ones that need to flip. we're coming up on the midterms
not too far from now. if you're not going to help support any of these bills in the house and senate, maybe we'll vote people in who will do it. >> do you detect among your republican colleagues any hint that if there was something truly egregious in the tax returns that they would do anything about it? >> they care about their own re-election more than donald trump's re-election. their town hall meetings are packed with thousands of people who are very upset about what's happening, and they're rapidly distancing themselves from donald trump. look, the popular protests set the stage for the defeat of his unconstitutional executive orders on immigration and set the stamg for the defeat of their terrible plan to repeal and replace aca by throwing 24 million people on the health insurance rolls. i think the popular protests here will make it almost impossible for donald trump to go forward without revealing those taxes. if he doesn't, there's something
so damning and devastating in there that we absolutely need to know it. remember, every president since watergate has turned over his taxes. it's really not that big a deal. what is he hiding? >> what happens after this, after tomorrow? >> after tomorrow i think hopefully people see that people do care, contrary to what trump and kellyanne conway says. i wasn't the only person who tweeted about this. or tried to do something about this or got interested in it. a law professor in vermont and wes shockley who started up the new york facebook page all did it on their own. i always like to say if anybody is responsible, if anybody inspired this march, it's kellyanne conway. if he's flipping through the channel channels, if he is watching, i think he should thank kellyanne conway tomorrow. it's a really great march, kelly. >> he's sensitive about his
hair. you had to go there, didn't you? thanks for joining us and good luck tomorrow. that is "all in" for this evening. you can catch me tomorrow on "a.m. joy" at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. i used to look forward to you on friday making cocktail. now it's nuclear war. >> now it's like nuclear war and me trying to persuade people, don't drink. take care of yourself, take vitamins, exercise, your country needs you. >> i love you, but i'm going to get a cocktail. i have to watch it with a cocktail. >> thank you, my dear. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. even though the weekend is coming up, joy's is starting right now. it is still likely to be a very busy few days in the news coming up, even through the weekend and into the beginning of next week. sort of an unusually f